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    Northbridge holds on, beats East Bridgewater for Division 5 title

    Northbridge's Keenan Quinama and teammates hold up the Division 5 Super Bowl trophy during the presentation ceremony.
    John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
    Northbridge's Keenan Quinama and teammates hold up the Division 5 Super Bowl trophy during the presentation ceremony.

    FOXBOROUGH — Saturday’s Division 5 Super Bowl between Northbridge and East Bridgewater at Gillette Stadium came down to which team could handle the most pressure.

    Jake Wood found the end zone on a 5-yard rush with 4:34 left to cap an 11-play, 64-yard drive to put Northbridge ahead, and fellow senior Koby Schofer made a game-sealing interception in the final minute as the Rams knocked off East Bridgewater, 36-34.

    Northbridge, which had been to the last two Super Bowls and lost both, hadn’t been able to stand up to the pressure. This year, the Rams (12-1) held strong.


    “It feels awesome, especially [as a senior] this year,” said Wood, who finished with 199 total yards and three touchdowns. “We knew how it felt to lose and walk down these same stairs. We knew that wasn’t going to happen this year and we made it happen for our last high school game.”

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    Northbridge built a 14-0 lead in the first quarter behind a 2-yard rush from Wood and a 7-yard pass from Schofer to Chandler Brooks.

    “One thing we do very well is score early,” Rams coach Ken LaChapelle said. “It boosted the coaches’ confidence and it boosted the kids’ confidence.”

    But the Vikings (11-2) began to mount a comeback before halftime, as senior Ryan Graham tossed two touchdown passes to make the score 16-14 after a field goal from the Rams’ Geoffrey Reichert.

    The teams traded blows once more before the break. Graham scored on an 8-yard keeper and Schofer found Wood for a 72-yard TD pass to put the Rams ahead, 23-20.


    LaChapelle, the state’s all-time leader in wins, is Schofer’s grandfather.

    Schofer finished 16 of 23 for 251 yards and two scores, battling through an ankle injury most of the game.

    “It’s very special to have your grandson be part of a state championship,” said LaChapelle. “We needed him on offense. We needed him to do what he did, and then he came through at the end.

    “It’s a surreal moment. We’ve been here, we haven’t done it. We’re here and we did it. We asked them to visualize being state champs, and here we are. We had a little bit more than East Bridgewater today.”

    Graham, who had 289 passing yards and five touchdowns, tossed two more scoring passes to give the Vikings a 34-30 lead with 9:30 remaining. But Schofer and Wood brought more pressure that East Bridgewater could handle.


    “It means everything,” said Schofer. “Just being able to finally give Northbridge a state championship.”

    The Rams lost to Abington, 36-6, in last year’s Super Bowl, and fell to Bishop Fenwick, 28-0, in 2013.

    “In the past few years we’ve kind of come out flat and we got it handed to us,” said Schofer.

    “Being able to finally win one just shows the state that we can play with Eastern Mass. schools,” Schofer said.

    East Bridgewater0207734
    First quarter
    NJake Wood 2-yard run (Geoffrey Reichert kick)
    Second quarter
    NChandler Brooks 7-yard pass from Koby Schofer (kick failed)
    EBJake Peterson 39-yard pass from Ryan Graham (David Trask kick)
    NGeoffrey Reichert 23-yard field goal
    EBMike Khoury 37-yard pass from Ryan Graham (David Trask kick)
    NJake Wood 72-yard pass from Koby Schofer (Geoffrey Reichert kick)
    EBRyan Graham 8-yard run (kick failed)
    Third quarter
    EBJake Peterson 34-yard pass from Ryan Graham (David Trask kick)
    NMichael Quinn 2-yard run (Geoffrey Reichert kick)
    Fourth quarter
    EBJake Peterson 19-yard pass from Ryan Graham (David Trask kick)
    NJake Wood 5-yard run (kick failed)


    Northbridge passing
    Koby Schofer1623251
    East Bridgewater passing
    Ryan Graham1422289
    Northbridge rushing
    Jake Wood1254
    Koby Schofer8-5
    Michael Quinn1258
    East Bridgewater rushing
    Jared Vargas1670
    Jake Peterson345
    Ryan Graham88
    Greg Plunkett17
    Northbridge receiving
    Jake Wood6145
    Chandler Brooks334
    Michael Quinn544
    Brandon Susienka117
    Zach Vallee111
    East Bridgewater receiving
    Jake Peterson496
    Greg Plunkett464
    Mike Khoury248
    Christian Hunter485